LOST SHELBY PRO­TO­TYPE FOUND

Unique Cars - - NEWS -

LONG AS­SUMED to have been de­stroyed, the rare 1967 Shelby GT500 EXP notch­back Pro­toype has been found in ru­ral Texas and an­nounced at the re­cent Wood­ward Dream Cruise in Michi­gan. Bar­rett-Jack­son CEO Craig Jack­son an­nounced Lit­tle Red had been lo­cated by him and his team in­clud­ing restora­tion spe­cial­ist Jason Billups. Many searches for Lit­tle Red proved fruit­less, be­fore Jack­son and his team dis­cov­ered the car in ru­ral North­ern Texas.

It’s the only GT500 hard­top coupe built by Shelby Amer­i­can, the sec­ond GT500 coupe ever to be “se­ri­alised and com­pleted”, and the only GT coupe ever or­dered from the fac­tory with dual-quad car­bu­ret­tors.

Jack­son and his team called it the “Holy Grail” of lost Mus­tangs, fur­ther call­ing it “the dis­cov­ery of a life­time”.

“This Shelby pro­to­type has been one of the most soughtafter and elu­sive ve­hi­cles in post­war his­tory,” he said.

“Count­less en­thu­si­asts and ex­perts have searched for Lit­tle Red since it went miss­ing in the 1960s. Many be­lieved it was de­stroyed when the car was no longer needed."

Lit­tle Red was one of two notch­back coupes built as ex­per­i­men­tal cars by Ford Mo­tor Com­pany and Shelby Amer­i­can; with this be­ing a de­vel­op­ment car that gained a restyled body, and a Pax­ton-su­per­charged big-block. It later be­came the model for Ford’s pop­u­lar 1968 Cal­i­for­nia Spe­cial be­fore it was moved to stor­age and pre­sum­ably lost.

The search ini­tially led to a dead end, like ev­ery search prior – they at­tempted to track the car via its Shelby Se­rial Num­ber. Us­ing the Ford VIN, Jack­son and his team found the car’s orig­i­nal reg­is­tra­tion, and even­tu­ally made con­tact with its last owner. The plan is to re­store it to its for­mer glory, a big task, as its been sit­ting in a Texas field for 20 years. The front end and all-im­por­tant en­gine are miss­ing. Given its lost his­tory and where­abouts for 50 years, Bar­rett-Jack­son is ask­ing for any per­sonal ac­counts, sto­ries and pho­tos fea­tur­ing Lit­tle Red to Shel­byPro­to­type­Coupes.com.

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